Minister of Fisheries Einar K. Gudfinnsson decided on Friday to increase the cod fishing quota from 130,000 to 160,000 tons for the current fishing season in light of the economic difficulties facing the nation and because of positive reports on the condition of the cod stock.
Icelandic cod. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
“With this decision we aim at a somewhat slower recovery of the benchmark stock and the spawning stock than originally planned,” reads an announcement from the Ministry of Fisheries.
The ministry concluded increasing the quota was safe considering positive indications of the cod stock’s condition in a study on demersal fish undertaken by the Icelandic Marine Research Institute last fall, concluding that the cod index was ten percent higher than usual.
The ministry also expects the cod fishing quota for the next season to be 160,000 tons.
“Although the recovery of the benchmark and spawning stock of cod will be slower than planned, this decision is in line with official objectives for sustainable fishing of cod as of other fish stocks harnessed in Icelandic waters,” the ministry’s announcement added.
The board of the Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners (LÍÚ) welcomes Gudfinnsson’s decision, estimating that the increase in quota will deliver an additional ISK 10 billion (USD 78 million, EUR 59 million) in export revenue for the national economy.